When Pop kills Metallica
I was listening to Katherine Jenkin’s last album at about 2am last night. I’d heard she’d covered Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me to Life’ and I wanted to know if she killed it or not. To be honest, it wasn’t really killed it just sounded like the original with the band taken away. It’s a risky business trying to cover another track, particularly if it’s music from the last 10 years or incredibly well known. Some artists pull it off by completely changing the vibe and style of the track. Check out James Morrison’s cover of ‘Man in the Mirror’. On paper, it sounds like a vasectomy; in reality, it’s actually quite good and quite clever.
It’s no secret but my favourite band is Metallica. Listened to them for years and I know their music well. Today I had a browse around YouTube (always dangerous) for any covers of Metallica songs. There were some good ones from Disturbed and Nickelback (I know, I was shocked too), but they are just bands covering other bands. So, what happens when clueless record company execs try to be clever and force their talent show winners and social rejects to perform songs which quite frankly, they’ve probably never heard of?
I bring you the three of the most appalling pop covers of Metallica ever heard…
#3 – Avril Lavigne – Fuel
There are going to be some people who’ll moan and say that Avril Lavigne isn’t pop. She’s pop. When her lyrics are about boys, she sings out of tune (chorus of the song ‘Alice’) and she’s from the wrong half of North America (the Bryan Adams half), she’s pop. So here we have her cover of the song ‘Fuel’ performed at the MTV Icon award show. I love the way they’ve tuned the whole thing up a few keys so her emo neck doesn’t explode…
#2 – Aliqua – Nothing Else Matters
Whilst this lot can clearly sing, the instrumental arrangement makes the intro sound like music from Titanic. I’m afraid it’s a sinking ship from start to finish (oh ha ha). I’m sure I’ve seen these girls at the jewellery counter at John Lewis…
#1 – Stefanie Heinzmann – The Unforgiven
Hold me back! Hold me back! This cover version of the 1991 song ‘The Unforgiven’ is surely the most excruciating piece of musical sadomasochism ever recorded. The video has everything. Neon lights, ugly kids and the Man from Del Monte all around a wooden chair which presumably is their tribute to the original music video. Great. I would say I’m surprised that this was allowed to happen, but then I remember that Lars is in the band and probably thought this was ‘really cool’.
All I can say, is that it’s a pity their instruments weren’t plugged in on the second verse at 1:40. Have a listen and get ready for therapy.
Matt is a composer of instrumental music as well as music for film. Explore the website to find out more and don't forget to claim two free tracks by liking Matt's page on Facebook. You can also find him on Twitter (@MattKeil).